Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper Deal

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by Neil, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    ISLAMABAD AND ANKARA — Turkey is aggressively lobbying to give T-129 attack helicopters to Pakistan to replace its aging AH-1F fleet and is prepared to agree to generous terms with cash-strapped Pakistan to do so, according to sources.

    However, the US could sink the deal and make a counteroffer of helicopter gunships to Pakistan that could be too good to refuse.

    Pakistani media reports state a deal with Turkey could lead to local production of the T-129 at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC), but speculation that preparations are already underway to build a new helicopter production facility there could not be confirmed.

    Turkey made its latest push during Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Sept. 16-18 visit to Turkey for the Third High Level Cooperation Council meeting. Sharif was given a demonstration of the T-129’s capabilities and a potential deal was discussed.

    Turkish officials confirmed talks have “matured to a certain extent,” and Turkey remains committed to any possible deal, not only for financial benefits but also potential strategic gains.

    “We see that both countries are keen to cooperate,” said one senior procurement official in Ankara. “We have a longer-term vision over any deal. We do not aim to win just one foreign contract but also view spillover benefits for the local industry. The Pakistani market may win international recognition for the T-129 and pave the way for future contracts.”

    The official declined to comment on the modality of any deal.

    However, a Pakistani source familiar with the negotiations said Turkey had offered to gift three T-129 helicopters to Pakistan with 2,300 items of spares. The T-129 variant in question was not clarified. The initial T-129A is being used for flight testing while the full specification T-129B is still under development.

    Turkey followed the same approach in securing a deal for MKEK 155mm Panter howitzers with Pakistan in 2009. It is now produced in Pakistan by Heavy Industries Taxila.

    However, a Turkish procurement official dealing with international agreements and financing voiced doubt over Pakistan’s ability to afford a deal.

    “We know that Pakistan is not in the best financial shape. But this could be overcome with political will,” he said.

    Salma Malik, assistant professor at the Department of Defence & Strategic Studies at Islamabad’s Quaid-i-Azam University, is uncertain, but not dismissive, saying this “depends on how and what kind of budgetary allocation the concerned offices have, and how they have outlaid it.”

    A more serious potential obstacle, however, is obtaining US permission to export the LHTEC CTS800-4N engine powering the T-129.

    A US industry source in Ankara said a US export license for the T-129’s engine would be critical. “This may require complex deliberations in Washington, involving many industrial and political parameters,” he said.

    Brian Cloughley, former Australian defense attache to Islamabad, said Congress holds the key to the deal.

    “It is most unlikely that either the White House or the Pentagon would attempt to deny an export license to Turkey for T-129 power plants and ancillaries, but the Defense Security Cooperation [Agency] is required to notify Congress of most proposed sales and obtain approval,” he said.

    “Given the mood of Congress, it is extremely difficult to predict what they might or might not do. It takes only a couple of members or senators to demur, and the whole process could be halted. Everything depends on the political mood of the moment.”

    Nevertheless, Turkey hopes the T-129 will be an export success.

    In remarks carried by Turkish daily Today’s Zaman, Turkey’s procurement chief, Murad Bayar, said Sept. 23 that the T-129 attack helicopter “had strong export potential.”

    The T-129 has been going through acceptance tests before deliveries for the Turkish military. Officials expect the first delivery to be made within the next few weeks.

    “We may complete the delivery of the first nine helicopters by the end of the year,” Bayar said. “After these helicopters make their way into the Turkish inventory, I believe they will have strong chances for export.”

    Azerbaijan is reportedly looking to buy 60 T-129 helicopters. Jordan’s King Abdullah, who was in Turkey in March, visited Turkish Aerospace Industries, co-maker of the T-129, and examined both the helicopter gunship and Turkey’s first locally-developed drone, the Anka.

    Despite Turkey’s hopes, however, the US might try to tempt Pakistan with a deal for the AH-1Z Viper helicopter.

    No one at the defense section in the US Embassy would comment on the matter, but details were confirmed by sources in Pakistan familiar with the deal.

    Pakistan has been awarded US $300 million in foreign military financing for FY2013-2014, which could be used to procure the Viper attack helicopters, made by Bell.

    This is part of a wider deal discussed during US Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s trip to Islamabad on Sept. 17.

    Cloughley, however, does not believe Pakistan will be tempted.

    “I do not think that Pakistan would be tempted to ditch the T-129 deal if there were an offer of Vipers. There might be a good deal proposed by the US, but operating costs are high and would [argue] against acceptance. Further, and probably more significant, there is decided and most strong opposition in Pakistan to further deals with the US.”


    Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper Deal | Defense News | defensenews.com
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2013
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  3. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    what is the basic difference between A 129 and t 129 ? anyone ?
     
  4. datguy79

    datguy79 Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    why wouldn't Pakistan get Apaches since they cost less than the Viper?
     
  5. drkrn

    drkrn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    why no chin gunships:noidea:
     
  6. Twinblade

    Twinblade Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    Khairat (received as donation) >> Ghairat (honour), just saying ;)
     
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  7. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    exactly where we want them to be, more they tried to match us, more screwed they will be.
     
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  8. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    why they get helis from other countries when their bed friends chincoms are super power and they can give pakis world class helis sorry copy of helis
     
  9. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    isn't that cheap copy of ameircan cobra gunship by turkey?

    does turkey know pak has no money to pay?
     
  10. Defcon 1

    Defcon 1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    No. The T129 is based on European Augusta A129, not AH1 Cobra.
     
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  11. mehrotraprince

    mehrotraprince Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    Basically a Customized A-129.

    They are counting on "All Muslims are Brothers" and getting full ToT, well that is what many Pakistani fan-boys feel.
     
  12. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    A very strange international politics is going on with Turkey Leadership .

    Turkey recently agreed to take Chinese air defenses and now hearing that Pakistanis are going to take Turkish helicopters . Seems Chinese would pay for those Helicopters for Pakistanis .



    China Wins $4 Billion Contract To Supply Turkey With Air Defence Missile System
    October 2, 2013. 10:06 am
    China Wins $4 Billion Contract To Supply Turkey With Air Defence Missile System | Ottawa Citizen
     
  13. jmj_overlord

    jmj_overlord Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    turkey is a nato country.............so deals with chinese and pakis.......did US ever made a remark about this ?
     
  14. SamwiseTheBrave

    SamwiseTheBrave Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    the US is probably going to squeeze turkey by the balls soon, and is already doing it. count on it. maybe @WG Ewald can shed some light on this?
     
  15. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    Turkey’s T-129s failing acceptance tests


    Turkey remains fully committed to a co-production program with Italian-British AgustaWestland for scores of T-129 attack helicopters despite “minor” technical snags that have delayed acceptance tests for an initial batch of nine choppers.

    “It is perfectly normal to have problems during acceptance tests. We remain committed to this program. It is a matter of days or weeks before we find a solution,” a senior defense official said. “We want to have these helicopters in our inventory in perfect condition.”

    The official said acceptance tests had been carried out on a double-check basis, both by the end-user, the Land Forces, and the quality check department of the defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM).

    A batch of early delivery T-129 attack helicopters, dubbed the T-129A EDH, which Turkey has acquired from AgustaWestland, have been repeatedly failing acceptance tests since 2012 due to a mismatch with technical specifications stated in the contract. Industry sources say the calibration failures center on lower-than-required maximum speed, excess vibration during flight, maximum takeoff weight and poor firing performance.

    The six T-129A EDHs are part of a batch of nine platforms which Turkey ordered in November 2010, increasing its total order to 60. The nine were to meet an urgent operational requirement for the Turkish Army against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Murad Bayar, Turkey’s top defense procurement official, said there was even significant foreign interest in the T-129. “The program is on track. There is potential for exports. This chopper is possibly the best solution in the world in asymmetrical warfare,” Bayar said.

    The T-129s were largely built by AgustaWestland in Italy with an expected delivery in late 2012, one year before the Turkish-built helicopters would start being delivered. The first nine choppers are to be armed by Turkey.

    A source at TAI, the Turkish prime subcontractor for the attack helicopter program, admitted “deviations from original specifications” and said “hard work was ahead to correct these.”

    What if the technical work to attain the performance criteria in the contract specifications fails? “One way or another, this program will go ahead as planned,” the defense official said.

    According to industry sources, there are two options: either the producer (AgustaWestland and TAI) should improve performance, or SSM will have to bend contract specifications so that the military examiners can give a nod and “accept” the nine platforms.

    A senior SSM official said a solution could eventually be found “in between the two options.” The official did not specify how. But in an earlier dispute similar to this (Israeli-made Heron drones) Bayar explained how technical snags had been overcome with the words “an agreement around different perceptions.”

    Turkey announced on March 30, 2007, that it had decided to negotiate with AgustaWestland to co-develop and produce 51 attack helicopters with 40 options based on Agusta’s A-129 Mangusta International. The T-129 would be assembled in a TAI plant near Ankara. A contract was signed on Sep. 7, 2007.

    On June 22, 2008, the agreement – also known as ATAK and worth a total $3.2 billion – between TAI and AgustaWestland formally came into force. It has been confirmed that the T-129 will be a Turkish-built platform. Under the agreement, TAI will develop an indigenous mission computer, avionics and weapons systems.

    Tusa? Engine Industries, Inc. will manufacture the LHTEC CTS800-AN engines under license. Under the co-production agreement, Turkey also has full marketing and intellectual property rights for the T-129 platform.

    On Sep 28, 2009, the first flight of the T-129 P1 prototype took place at AgustaWestland’s facilities in Vergiate, Italy, and on Aug. 17, 2011, TAI announced the first successful flight of the T-129 prototype produced at its facilities near Ankara. The tested prototype was the first of three that were assembled in Turkey.

    Luckily, the delays have come at a time when Turkey does not urgently need the T-129s which are intended to be used primarily in the Turkish military’s warfare against the PKK, as a fragile cease-fire since late 2012 has been easing the pressure.

    Meanwhile, Turkey has been aggressively lobbying to sell the T-129 to Pakistan to replace its aging AH-1F fleet and is prepared to agree to generous terms with cash-strapped Pakistan to do so. Pakistani media reports have stated a deal with Turkey could lead to local production of the T-129 at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).

    Turkey made its latest push during Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Sept. 16-18 visit to Turkey for a third High-Level Cooperation Council meeting. Sharif was given a demonstration of the T-129’s capabilities and a potential deal was discussed.

    Turkish officials confirmed talks have “matured to a certain extent,” and Turkey remains committed to any possible deal, not only for financial benefits but also potential strategic gains.



    Turkey’s T-129s failing acceptance tests | idrw.org
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  16. ladder

    ladder Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    Every program is vulnerable to delays with the only exception being Chinese programs.:p

    They never suffer from delays and setbacks.
     
  17. ramakrishna

    ramakrishna Regular Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    The T129 multirole attack helicopter is being developed jointly by AgustaWestland and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLF) and the helicopter is based on the AW129 and its predecessor the A129 Mangusta.

    source: T129 Attack Helicopter - Army Technology
     
  18. angeldude13

    angeldude13 Lestat De Lioncourt Senior Member

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    Re: Turkey Pushes T-129 Gunships for Pakistan, but US Could Scupper De

    T-129 has an amreeki engine.
    So i guess amreeka will not allow turks(famous for licking europe's a&&) to sell these helis in international markets.
    Everybody loves business and amreeka is one of them and turk selling helis to pakhanas is negative business for amreeka.
     
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